Karl Lagerfeld is known for recruiting models as a part of his entourage, but the fashion designer behind brands like Chanel and Fendi isn’t exactly without a family of his own. Despite telling the New York Times that he has “no family,” the icon actually has an American sister who lives in Connecticut named Christiane Johnson, but both he and Johnson admit to having not seen each other in over 40 years.
“I see them like family,” Lagerfeld explained to the Times about models Jake Davies, Baptiste Giabiconi, and Brad Kroenig, who are among the models that make up “Karl’s boys” and go just about everywhere with him. “I have no family at all, so it’s good to have, like, sons but without the unpleasant problems sons can create.”
“It’s a choice, it’s not an obligation. There’s a big difference,” he continued, before revealing: “I [do] have a sister in America who I haven’t seen for 40 years. Her children never even send me a Christmas card.”
While Lagerfeld, 81, hints that Johnson doesn’t reach out, the 83-year-old painted a different story during an interview with The Daily Mail.
“I haven't seen him since the 1970s but people bring me articles and I keep them all,” she said of her absent famous younger brother. “I’m not angry, I know he's really busy. He lives over there and I live here — it's just one of those things.”
Johnson told the Daily Mail she has “the phone number for his kitchen but that doesn't do me any good” and then “there’s the six-hour time difference.”
“[My grandchildren and children] would like to meet him again — we all would,” she admitted, before adding that it was so long ago when she last saw him she “can hardly recall it.”
“I know that he only drinks Coca Cola,” she said. “I will make sure I go get some if he comes to visit.”
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